We have grown accustomed into believing that mood swings are a characteristic of the female gender and that men are “immune” to such things.
However, this is no longer the case, as it is now established that men too can suffer from the rollercoaster of emotions and are even able to experience some male menopause, or andropause to be more precise.
Yes, it is true that men never genuinely suffer from an abrupt, acute decrease in male hormone levels like a woman going through menopause, but it is still a genuine possibility that he can experience cyclical swings, in a manner more closely relating to the menstrual cycle.
Regardless of the cause of these mood swings, they should not just be accepted. Instead, you should do your best to try and address issues within your control and attempt to restore hormonal homeostasis.
Mood swings do not occur in men merely as a result of low testosterone, but also from far-reaching implications on the health of the brain’s chemical messengers, the neurotransmitters, often caused by primary the female hormone, estrogen.
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What Are the Cause of Male Mood Swings
If we take a good look at the primary source of mood swings in men, you would undoubtedly see that many times there is an apparent association with low testosterone levels.
What’s even more troublesome, however, is the fact that in a significant proportion of men estrogen levels are also typically elevated. When estrogen levels are elevated, it paves the way for the ultimate storm known as Estrogen Dominance.
Estrogen dominance doesn’t just “happen”, it is usually the effect of various factors working in tandem that results in both an increased estrogen level, and a diminished testosterone blood concentration.
Estrogen dominance may be exacerbated by:
- Chronic inflammatory states, which lead to a corresponding increase is the stress hormone cortisol (testosterone and cortisol share an inverse relationship).
- Exposure to and consumption of a range of phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens, such as soy products and BPA plastics.
- High body fat to muscle mass ratio; estrogen production is active primarily in fat cells via aromatization.
- Advanced age; testosterone levels do decrease naturally with age, but so too should estrogen production (in a healthy body).
The Manifestations Of Mood Swings In Men: Not So Subtle
When men experience mood swings, you can tell something is off. How? Here are the typical things to look out for:
1. Loss Of Motivation
Motivation is not typically associated with your mood, but in reality, it has a lot to do with it. Think about it- when was the last time you were productive while not feeling like your usual self?
In reality, motivation is dictated to a large degree by dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls drive and urges. The level and functioning of this neurotransmitter can be disrupted via altered testosterone levels, relative to other hormones such as estrogen.
2. Anger And Outbursts
One of the most classic symptoms of a mood swing is the accompanying angry outburst that is observed. In fact, anger is one of the first telltale signs that someone is having a mood swing, with men more likely to exhibit these behaviors.
This symptom, however, is more strongly related to reduced testosterone levels, a common consequence of estrogen dominance.
Testosterone has a suppressive effect on Corticotrophin-releasing hormone secretion in the brain, which means that men with higher testosterone levels have an easier time dealing with stress, and keeping cortisol (the stress hormone) under control.
Increased cortisol secretion (common in men with low testosterone) coincides with the increased release of the excitatory hormones/neurotransmitters epinephrine and norepinephrine, which is known for activating our primal survival fight or flight response.
This is, of course, a far less than an ideal state to be in all day, as cortisol has adverse effects on the brain that cannot be ignored.
Mood swings in men also include depression, as men are not exempt from expiring depressive periods, occurring with increasing frequency in those with low testosterone levels(3).
Disruptions in the uptake of amino acids (in particular tryptophan) are also common manifestations that act as precursors to depression, characterized by low serotonin levels.
Depression can also be attributed to a deficiency of omega3 fatty acids, as there is evidence that points to the fact that consuming cold water fish can raise serotonin levels.
What Is the Fix for Mood Swings in Men
To be frank, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to addressing the causes of these mood disturbances, as you first need to detect and pinpoint what the underlying cause is most likely to be.
Luckily, it is not irreversible, and by making sensible adjustments to help your body regain its lost sense of equilibrium, they can very well disappear altogether. Consider the following approaches:
Try Natural Anti-Estrogens (SERMs)
There are a variety of natural substances and supplements that can act as anti-estrogens, or SERMs (selective estrogen receptor modulators), which have excitatory actions on some estrogen receptors, but estrogen blocking properties on others.
SERMs are typically the best option, as their actions are reversible (allows estrogens action back into your system when therapy is stopped), and are estrogens themselves, helping the body maintain a degree of normalcy while getting rid of the undesirable effects of the imbalance.
Excellent Natural Sources Include:
- Resveratrol – A well-known anti-oxidant compound common in grapes and the Japanese knotweed herb. Resveratrol is a SERM and aromatase inhibitorthat blocks the undesirable effects of estrogen in men (such as mood swings), and also helps to improve testosterone levels.
- Pomegranates – Pomegranatescan help elevate testosterone levels, while also inhibiting the action and production of estrogen. This gives it the dual distinction of being a SERM as well as an anti-estrogen.
- Cruciferous Vegetables of All Types – These include broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower to name a few, which boast the presence of two anti-estrogenic compounds; IC3 (indole-3-carbinol) andDIM (3,3′-diindolylmethane).
Older studies used to indicate that DIM was superior in terms of estrogen suppression, but new studies challenge these findings with the fact that it is possibly anti-androgenic, and in no way superior to its parent compound IC3.
Research further went on to state that IC3 shares estrogen suppression potential comparable to the prescription medication Tamoxifen, used for breast cancer
Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs)
These are generally more efficient than SERMs in rapidly lowering estrogen levels, but at the risk of causing severe suppression of this hormone and eliciting undesirable effects. However, anti-aromatase inhibitors found in foods are no way near this strong and ideal to consume for this purpose.
Consuming natural aromatase inhibitors in cases where the amount of estrogen in a man is far beyond what it should be will help to naturally balance out estrogen levels over time.
Common Aromatase Inhibiting Foods Include:
- Celery (stalk) – Celery contains many natural androgens which include androsterone, said to have pheromone like properties that stimulate the synthesis of testosterone. Also, thanks to the high luteolin content in celery, it also functions as an active aromatase inhibitor, though not a very potent one.
- Olive Oil – Cold pressed organic olive oil is highly pro-androgenic and anti-aromatase at the same time, thanks to the presence of the distinctive compound oleuropein. This compound also helps in the breakdown of stubborn “brown fat,” adding another dimension to reducing estrogen levels by decreasing body fat.
- White Button Mushrooms – These are the mushrooms that you are likely to find in gourmet restaurants or most western supermarkets, they are exceptionally good at inhibiting the aromatase enzyme. This action seems to be dose-dependent, so increased consumption typically achieves greater inhibition.
Stress Reduction: Fixing The Real Trigger of Mood Swings
While hormone imbalances and other issues set the stage for mood swings, it is always the ups and downs of life that triggers them.
This might seem like a situation that is impossible to beat, who doesn’t have stress in their life?
But remember that stress is a natural part of life for everyone, stress is what will get you out of couch-mode and out into the world to experience everything life has to offers.
Not being able to handle common-day stressors, however, is not natural. Your body’s overall health is what dictates how much stress you can handle, so your job is only keeping this perfect machine running as smoothly as silk.
While some of you might think that a pack of smokes, a double expresso or a pint of ice cream and Netflix serves as the best tools for stress reduction, we’re sorry to say this won’t even touch the tip of the iceberg
Here Are Our Favorite Tools For Reducing Everyday Stress:
- Meditation – Meditation is the best medication, PERIOD. In today’s world of never-ending Facebook notifications, high-speed internet porn and overpopulation, we all need to chill out and learn to focus on what truly matters.
The fact remains that people now have more ways to stay connected with each other than ever before, yet people are more lonely than ever. Meditation serves as a much-needed handbrake to find peace in an environment that is not always good for us.
- CBD Oil – While the legal status of marijuana is changing around the world and laws are becoming more tolerant towards the plant, the hemp supplements market is exploding, and for a good reason! CBD is one of the cannabinoids present in hemp oil, completely legal, safe and is also free of psychoactive effects and even side effects for that matter.
It will not make you high, and it still confers a lot of the benefits associated with medicinal marijuana, such as reduction in stress, pain, and improvements in sleep patterns. We think CBD oil is one of the best supplements you can take to reduce stress and correct an overstimulated nervous system(12).
- Theanine – Tea has to thank the amino acid Theanine for much of its popularity. In Japan, tea connoisseurs go crazy about the umami flavor of tea, which Theanine in its leaves are responsible for. Shade grown tea has higher levels of Theanine and it is this type of tea which is used for example to make Matcha.
So why is Theanine on our list? Because Theanine as a supplement can help reduce the negative stimulating side effects of caffeine. Meaning that if you are not completely ready to give up that cup of coffee in the name of stress reduction, at least combine it with some Theanine.
Lifestyle Changes To Alleviate Mood Swings
While diet is the cornerstone of achieving optimal hormonal homeostasis, you must also implement other permanent changes to improve your quality of life.
Weightlifting is one such change, which not only helps improve your testosterone levels but also plays a role in suppressing cortisol and boosting the production of endorphins.
Endorphins function similar to neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which promote a positive mood and are an essential weapon in the fight against mood swings.
Other changes also include eliminating or minimizing the consumption of pro-estrogenic beverages, such as beer, reading labels more thoroughly (soy by-products are everywhere) and quitting your smoking habit (inflammatory & addictive).
Mood Swings in Men: The Bottom Line
Mood swings that occur with increasing frequency in men warrant an investigation to find the cause.
Often, it is not an indication of mental illness, but rather a hormonal disruption.
Phytoestrogens and various xenoestrogens are often at the heart of this disruption, causing the phenomenon known as estrogen dominance.
Luckily, much of the time we can arrest these undesirable changes, via smart dietary and lifestyle changes.
Eating more man-friendly anti-estrogenic foods are an excellent start, as is getting into a regular exercise routine and reducing body fat stores.
Supplements like Alpha Male XL not only made to boost the testosterone production but also to help men boost the male sex hormone in their body which, in turn, improves the overall health and wellness.
Just be sure to reach out to your doctor if nothing changes after a few months of diligent effort, as it is possible something else could be the source of your mood swings.
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In-Post Image- istockphoto.com
2.  https://www.mendeley.com/papers/relationship-between-aromatase-activity-body-fat-distribution/
3.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033318213001333
4.  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041108024221.htm
5.  https://www.mendeley.com/papers/testosterone-suppression-crhstimulated-cortisol-men/
6.  https://examine.com/supplements/diindolylmethane/
7.  http://iv.iiarjournals.org/content/21/6/983.full.pdf
8.  https://www.anabolichealth.com/natural-aromatase-inhibitors/
9.  https://experts.umn.edu/en/publications/lignans-and-flavonoids-inhibit-aromatase-enzyme-in-human-preadipo
10.  https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.27.1_supplement.856.2
11.  https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/12/3288/4686305
12.  https://www.projectcbd.org/stress